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February 28, 2020

Nepra calls for overcoming key challenges to power transmission

Business

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February 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday emphasised a need of overcoming key challenges in the transmission sector, including grid connection and right-of-way acquisition, to ensure sustainable supply.

Nepra Memeber Rahmatullah Baloch said transmission sector has a vital role to play in provision of safe, reliable and sustainable electricity.

Baloch, addressing the 4th day of Nepra Energy Week 2020, stressed resolving the issues, such as evacuation from renewable resources – wind and hydro, timely completion of the interconnection and frequent tripping – which, it said was affecting the economy as a whole and end-consumers particularly.

The transmission session focused on the role of transmission companies and upcoming challenges: issues of right-of-way, competition in shape of provincial grid companies and high-voltage direct current transmission line.

The government earlier unveiled a plan to improve and develop the power transmission system as it wanted to enhance power transmission capacity by 3,000 megawatts (MW) to touch the highest capacity of 26,000 MW.

During the last year’s summer, the power plants transmitted average 21,000 MW of electricity to the system with the highest load of 23,000 MW. The transmission session concluded with an agreement transmission sector needs to be revamped, keeping in view the new challenges, for reliable and sustainable electricity supply.

Moreover, power sector researchers shared their ideas and suggested way forward for the country to achieve the goal of sustainable development through making transmission sector effective.

Nepra Chairman Tauseef Farooqi appreciated the efforts of the transmission sector’s managing team for conducting a fruitful session. Furthermore, he appreciated the innovative ideas and valuable recommendations shared by the experts.

In addition to transmission session, another session was held on the fourth day wherein the international experts visiting all the way from the United Kingdom and Singapore discussed the details about optimising the procurement of imported coal through competitive pricing mechanism.

The session was held keeping in view the share of imported coal power plants in the generation mix and its financial implications on the fuel pricing mechanism.

The experts, during the session, provided the global comparison of the international coal pricing, mechanism of price adjustment and its impact on electricity price. Representatives of various power utilities, including National Transmission and Despatch Company and Alternative Energy Development Board and Central Power Purchasing Agency attended the transmission session.

The country has long been pursuing a plan to set up a south Asia transmission interconnection project, known as CASA-1,000, to import 1,000 megawatts of electricity from across the border. This would be a second cross-border transmission line in addition to one transmitting 100MW from Iran to Pakistan.